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The movie is about Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton (Jimmy Stewart), who in the 1930s, compiled a 37-19 won-loss record in three seasons. After he became the winningest right-hander in the American League, his major league career ended prematurely when a hunting accident in 1938 forced doctors to amputate his right leg. With a wooden leg and his wife Ethel's (June Allyson) help, Stratton made a successful minor league comeback in 1946, continuing to pitch in minor leagues throughout the rest of the 1940s and into the 1950s. Written by
Although Monty Stratton was a real baseball player who continued to play baseball after having a right-leg, above-knee amputation, much of the story was fictionalized for this film. For instance, in the hunting accident, the real Monty Stratton shot himself with a pistol, rather than with a rifle. Also, the game in which the real Monty Stratton returned to baseball after his amputation was not an All-Star game, as in the movie, but rather a 1939 charity game between the White Sox and the Cubs (the proceeds of which went to Stratton). See more »
In Monte Stratton's pitching debut versus the NY Yankees, Joe DiMaggio is shown circling the bases in stock footage. However, Stratton debuted in 1934 and DiMaggio didn't show up in the majors until 1936. See more »
Look at that road! I used to do ten miles on that road like it was nothin' - just to pitch a game! Now I can hardly reach it, let alone walk on it!
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James Stewart and June Allyson look twice as old as the roles they are playing! Still, "The Stratton Story" is enjoyable. In the early scenes, Mr. Stewart's frame, and natural acting style, make him somewhat believable as a boy interested in baseball. Ms. Allyson doesn't try to play too "girlish"; instead, she wisely acts her part as a woman complimenting (by being in love with) Stewart's character.
Allyson, and her character, save the film the moment she appears, the focus is on the pair's relationship, and not on baseball. The Stewart/Allyson relationship is really what makes the film work, I thought -- the Stewart character could have been a golfer, doctor, whatever The scenes beginning with Stewart and Allyson in separate beds, backs turned, and unable to sleep, have an understated dignity.
Stewart and Allyson's nice performances are enhanced by: Frank Morgan, aka "The Wizard of Oz"; and Agnes Moorehead, Endora from "Bewitched". The later baseball scenes are more realistic, and fun to watch. It's strange to see the older baseball style; today, many of the players would be pumped up with steroids. I wish the sport would return to being more based on fun and skills.
Love is not something a surgeon can cut.
******* The Stratton Story (1949) Sam Wood ~ James Stewart, June Allyson, Frank Morgan
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